Grassroots project feeds kids in New Haven experiencing food insecurity during pandemic

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Volunteers with Inspired Communities Inc. hand out hundreds of food bags twice a week to bridge the food gap for children in need in New Haven. The grassroots project supports hungry kids affected by school closings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, families waited patiently in line in their cars for their turn to get food at First Calvary Baptist Church. 

Kim Harris with Inspired Communities Inc. told News 8, “47% of the children five and under in Newhallville alone are living below poverty. So we know that we have that number and we know if it’s 50% then we know it could be as great as 30-40% of the households that are really in need of food.”

Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber with the First Calvary Baptist Church explained, “Newhallville is one of the poorest communities in this city. The unemployment rate is the highest in the city.”

Mayor Justin Elicker has repeated in his press conferences over the last couple of week that Newhallville is one of the virus hot spots in the city. The city has since opened more testing sites to gives better testing access to neighborhoods like Newhallville.

The New Haven Public School district hands out food weekly to students to make up for the meals they are not receiving during the shutdown. But, Harris says, the food won’t stretch for the whole week. 

Harris explained, “The school gives two days worth of food on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays. If someone is hungry or there’s an extra person in the house you know you’re going to give it to them. You’re going to make sure they’re not hungry as well.”

Reverend Kimber is raising thousands of dollars to help families access food.  

He said, “There were kids who we normally get a breakfast meal and a lunch meal but now these kids are home all day.”

Mayor Justin Elicker told News 8 Tuesday they’ve increased the number of school meals they are giving families: two meals of breakfast and lunch three days a week. The city has 24 food pantries operating throughout the city as well as mobile food pantries and they have delivered thousands of meals to the elderly and at-risk residents. 

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